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Hiking & Backpacking

Buena Vista & Salida, Colorado

Hiking & Backpacking

Buena Vista & Salida, Colorado

Hiking & Backpacking

Buena Vista & Salida, Colorado

Hiking & Backpacking

Buena Vista & Salida, Colorado

Hiking & Backpacking

Buena Vista & Salida, Colorado

Hiking & Backpacking

Buena Vista & Salida, Colorado

Hiking & Backpacking

Buena Vista & Salida, Colorado

Hiking & Backpacking

Buena Vista & Salida, Colorado

Hiking & Backpacking

In Buena Vista & Salida, Colorado

Rimmed by the mighty Sawatch, Mosquito and Sangre de Cristo mountains, Chaffee County is a breathtaking place to get outdoors. Like sentinels lining the horizon to the west, Sawatch peaks dominate the Upper Arkansas Valley. Running some 100 miles, from south of Salida to north of Leadville, 15 of Colorado’s 58 14,000-foot peaks rise in the Sawatch. The range features four of the state’s five tallest peaks including Mount Elbert, at 14,440 feet the state’s highest and second only to California’s14,505-foot Mount Whitney in the lower 48. The Collegiate Peaks – five mountains named after colleges – are included in the Sawatch.

 

Interactive Hiking Map

THREE MOUNTAIN RANGES

Surrounding The Arkansas River Valley

sawatch-mountain-range-colorado

Sawatch Mountain Range

Running from north of Leadville to southwest of Salida, the Sawatch Range consists of 15 peaks of 14,000 feet or more including Mt. Elbert, at 14,440 feet the highest in Colorado and second highest in the lower 48 states. The Collegiate Peaks, named after five famous universities, are a part of the range.

Sangre de Cristo Mountains

Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range

Running south from Poncha Springs to Santa Fe, New Mexico. This portion of the Rocky Mountains is the southernmost subrange.
A wilderness area and multiple 14,000-foot peaks are located here, as well as the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve.

Mosquito Mountains

Mosquito Mountain Range

Alpine tundra, adjoining forests and rare plant species are found in this area northeast of Buena Vista. The Mosquito Range features five fourteeers: Lincoln, Bross, Democrat, Cameron and Sherman. It is also home to the highest vehicle route in the country, Mosquito Pass, cresting at 13,185 feet.

SAWATCH RANGE FOURTEENERS

(Peaks over 14,000 feet or 5,000 Meters in elevation)

Sawatch Mountain Range 14ers

SAWATCH RANGE THIRTEENERS

(Peaks over 13,000 feet or 4,000 Meters in elevation)

Local Trail Systems

Biking Buena Vista & Salida, Colorado

Flour Mile

Fourmile Travel Management Area

Off Buena Vista’s East Main Street, a foot and bike bridge leads to the Barbara Whipple and Midland trail systems, with routes over and around the Arkansas Hills and into the Fourmile Travel Management Area. West of town are a number of great rides starting with the Colorado Trail among a host of others.

Fourmile Map | Midland Map | Whipple Map

Buena Vista & Salida, Colorado

Salida Mountain Trails

In Salida, mountain bikers have a wide variety of trails to ride right from town on Arkansas Hills or Methodist Mountain trails. Among a multitude of choices outside of town, the famed Monarch Crest Trail starts at the top of Monarch Pass and connections to the Colorado Trail are just off U.S. 50 between Maysville and Garfield.

Arkansas Hills Trail Map | Methodist Mountain Trail Map

Salida Mountain Trails

Biking Buena Vista & Salida, Colorado

National Trail Systems

Buena Vista & Salida, Colorado

Colorado Trail

The Colorado Trail stretches 486 miles from Denver to Durango. Trail users experience six wilderness areas and eight mountain ranges topping out at 13,271 feet, just below Coney Summit at 13,334 feet. The average elevation is over 10,000 feet and it rises and falls dramatically. Users traveling from Denver to Durango climb 89,354 feet. The Chaffee County section is popular with day and overnight hikers alike.

The Colorado Trail Foundation

Colroado Trail

Biking Buena Vista & Salida, Colorado

Continental Divide Trail

Continental Divide Trail

The Continental Divide separates the rivers and streams that flow eastward into the Atlantic Ocean from those that flow westward to the Pacific.

The portion of the Continental Divide in the United States is about 3,000 miles long – from Glacier National Park in Montana, south through the Rocky Mountains, to the Mexico border in southwest New Mexico.

The Sawatch Range segment in Chaffee County follows the flanks of Colorado’s highest peaks, with nice stretches above timberline in portions of the Holy Cross, Mount Massive, and Collegiate Peaks wilderness areas.

Continental Divide Trail Coalition

Buena Vista & Salida, Colorado

American Discovery Trail

The Colorado Trail stretches 486 miles from Denver to Durango. Trail users experience six wilderness areas and eight mountain ranges topping out at 13,271 feet, just below Coney Summit at 13,334 feet. The average elevation is over 10,000 feet and it rises and falls dramatically. Users traveling from Denver to Durango climb 89,354 feet. The Chaffee County section is popular with day and overnight hikers alike.

American Discovery Trail Society

American Discovery Trail

Biking Buena Vista & Salida, Colorado

14er's

Wilderness Areas

Miles Of Gold Medal Waters

Browns Canyon National Monument

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